Tamil Nadu

Technical snag hits first reactor of Kudankulam

Much to the embarrassment of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) administration, its first reactor that resumed power generation only last Saturday after being idle for about 108 days had to stop operations owing to a “technical snag” in the turbine section.

“Yes… we had to stop the turbine section of the first reactor on Monday at 5.22 a.m. after a technical snag was noticed,” admitted a KKNPP official, who refused to elaborate on the nature of problem that crippled power generation.

He refused to answer the query on what went wrong in the turbine section that was under mandatory maintenance associated with fuel outage exercise and how serious it was.

The stoppage was kept a closely guarded secret that came to light only Tuesday after sources in the KKNPP leaked the information to mediapersons. “It appears to be a serious technical snag, which may consume another 3 or 4 days to rectify,” the sources said.

Officials tight-lipped

Officials attached to the public relations department of KKNPP refused to divulge details on the nature of the snag that paralysed power generation within just 48 hours.

When it was stopped on August 1 for the third fuel outage, 33% of the first reactor’s spent fuel was removed and loaded with fresh enriched uranium fuel bundles robotically. And the associated maintenance work consumed 108 days, though these works would usually be completed within 75 days.

When refuelling was taken-up in the KKNPP’s second reactor in last February, it took more than 115 days, for which the KKNPP refused to give any explanation.

Like the first reactor’s turbine section, the second reactor’s turbine section was stopped immediately after commissioning in August.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2020 8:41:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/technical-snag-hits-first-reactor-of-kudankulam/article25552550.ece

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